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Circuit Breaker

Why Upgrade From a Fuse Box To Circuit Breaker Panel?

Upgrade Your Electrical Fusebox

Are you wondering whether to upgrade your fuse box to a circuit breaker? Many older homes in the Greater Roanoke area have older style fuse boxes rather than newer circuit breaker panels. What most homeowners don’t realize is that older fuse boxes are often not enough to meet growing electrical needs of many families and have outdated wiring and insulation. If left untouched, they pose great safety risks.

Some advantages of upgrading to a circuit breaker panel include: 

  • The ability to reset tripped circuits rather than replacing fuses
  • The ability to expand and add new circuits¬†
  • The ability to safely incorporate 120- and 140- volt circuits

The Power to Handle Increasing Electrical Demands

Today's homes are placing ever-increasing demand for electricity, and old service panels can quickly become overwhelmed. Simply installing larger fuses that are too big for the wiring can keep fuses from blowing, but it also creates a fire hazard. Over time, as fuse boxes are updated, it's not unusual to find a single fuse lug with more than one wire. This is referred to as double tapping or double lugging. If your fuses are overloaded, they should be rewired to have only one wire per fuse that's rated to handle the load.

If your home has a typical 60 amp fuse box, you're missing the flexibility to handle electrical loads for multiple appliances running at the same time. For example, when remodeling a kitchen your electrician will likely recommend having separate circuits for the dishwasher, the disposal, for outlets, for the lights, and yet another for the microwave and refrigerator. For larger appliances, 220v circuits are usually required. This adds up to at least six separate circuits in your electric panel. If your home only has a 60 amp panel with has six spaces available for the entire house, it makes sense to upgrade to a circuit breaker panel.

Upgrading to a Circuit Breaker

Replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker panel is a job for a licensed Roanoke electrician. The first step is to diagram the electrical panel and note of breaker sizes. The wire gauges will be checked to confirm the amperage. Next, your electrician will determine if the wiring needs to be upgraded or replaced. For example, if the home has aluminum wiring or knob-and-tube wiring. When upgrading to a circuit panel, it's also a good idea to consider making electrical upgrades. New outlets, switches, and lighting will add convenience and safety and ensure that you have sufficient power today and down the road.


Have questions about upgrading from a fuse box to a new circuit breaker panel? Give Ostrom a call. We are the trusted name for electrical services in Roanoke, Salem, and beyond! 
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